2021 Polestar 2

The Polestar 2 is likely one of the coolest EVs on sale.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Most new EVs both look too regular to face out or too unusual to entice common customers, however the Polestar 2 completely lands in that center floor. To my eyes, this is likely one of the first truly cool EVs — not less than when it comes to extra inexpensive vehicles. And in relation to new segments and rising tech, typically being cool is a very powerful factor.

Like

  • Fantastic stying in and out
  • Super fast and enjoyable to drive
  • Great Google infotainment system

Don’t Like

  • Less vary than Tesla
  • Only is available in one costly configuration
  • Limited servicing community

A actual crowd pleaser

I dwell in Los Angeles, the place hybrids and EVs are frequent — principally each different automobile you see is a Tesla.  But the Polestar actually grabs peoples’ consideration. Chalk a few of that as much as it being new and a few of it to its lack of badging — both means, most individuals simply do not know the hell it’s. They simply know it is one thing new and cool, and wish to study extra about it.

It’s laborious to categorize the Polestar 2. At first look it seems to be like a conventional sedan, however it’s received a fastback rear finish with a hatch as a substitute of a trunk. The Polestar has a better experience top than most sedans (it is an inch taller than a BMW 3 Series however greater than 4 inches shorter in size) and SUV-like physique cladding, making it a little bit of a pseudo-crossover. However you classify it, the Polestar 2 is a particularly good-looking automobile, with minimal physique surfacing and nice proportions.

It’s apparent the Polestar 2 was initially designed to be a Volvo, however that is not a foul factor. Still, a lot of little particulars set it other than different Volvos, just like the blocky patterned grille and full-width LED taillight strip. The solely badges on the automobile are body-color Polestar logos on the hood and trunk, in addition to delicate stickers on the entrance doorways that denote the mannequin identify, battery pack dimension and energy output.

The Volvo affect is clear within the 2’s inside, however Polestar’s designers actually turned the specialness up a notch or two. My check automobile has the Slate colour scheme, which options vegan WeaveTech surfaces that really feel like a high-end windbreaker and black ash wooden trim. There’s a superb quantity of head- and legroom for entrance and rear passengers and the cabin feels ethereal due to the massive customary panoramic sunroof. I want there was a sunshade for the roof, although, as direct daylight can nonetheless be annoying regardless of the tinted glass. Another main draw back is an absence of storage up entrance, with just one usable cupholder within the middle console (there’s one other below the middle armrest) and pretty small door pockets. Still, the general vibe may be very Swedish high-end furnishings/audio retailer and it genuinely feels premium.

2021 Polestar 2

The Polestar’s Google-based infotainment system is considered one of our favorites.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

OK, Google, you rule

The Polestar 2 is the primary manufacturing automobile to make use of Google’s Android Automotive infotainment tech and even for a staunch iPhone person like myself I feel it is simply among the best methods in the marketplace. (Don’t fear, Apple AutomobilePlay performance is coming and I do not even miss it throughout my time with the automobile.) The system seems to be incredible and the 11-inch display is tremendous fast and snappy, plus it is simple to log into my Google account through QR code and obtain apps like Spotify from the Google Play retailer. There aren’t too many apps but and lacking ones embrace Audible and a few main podcast platforms, however they’re coming. The Google Assistant voice instructions work nicely too and it could actually even management issues just like the seat heaters. The solely bodily controls are a quantity knob and buttons for the heated windshield and rear window, that means even local weather controls are accessed via the display, however that is simple to get used to.

The finest a part of the Android system is that Google Maps is the native navigation. I usually gravitate in the direction of utilizing Google Maps via AutomobilePlay over any built-in nav and it seems to be even sharper on the Polestar’s show — there’s even an almost full-screen view for Maps within the 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The Google tech has some good EV-specific options, like exhibiting the estimated vary and cost you will have on the finish of a set journey and offering an info-filled listing of charging stations. I do want you can see a satellite tv for pc map view, although. 

Shirking the EV norms

For now, each Polestar 2 comes the identical means; there’s one battery pack dimension and one motor configuration. There’s an electrical motor at every axle for a mixed output of 408 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque, with all-wheel drive as customary. With a 0-to-60-mph time of 4.5 seconds the Polestar 2 is rattling fast. Launches push you again in your seat and the efficiency would not appear to fade after a number of goes. There’s no sport mode or adjustable energy setting, so you’ve got at all times received the total quantity of torque it doesn’t matter what. I do like that you may flip the idle creep operate on and off, too — I desire to depart it off like a brake maintain function.

There are three settings for the steering, the firmest of which is my favourite. It’s actually properly weighted, direct and really provides a superb quantity of suggestions, which isn’t the norm for EVs. The Polestar’s chassis is nice too and the automobile feels much more nimble than its practically 5,000-pound weight suggests. An ESC Sport mode reduces the intervention of the soundness management, however it would not make a large distinction within the dry. Overall, the Polestar 2 is simply as enjoyable to drive within the twisties as it’s round city. Impressive.

2021 Polestar 2

That delicate styling packs a serious punch.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

But the very best a part of the Polestar 2 is not the way it launches or the way it corners, it is the way it stops. The 2 has a regenerative braking system that affords true one-pedal driving and as soon as you’ve got skilled an EV with a superb one-pedal system, it is laborious to return to anything. The Polestar lets you choose between having the regen absolutely off, having it in a low setting that will not convey the automobile to an entire cease, or holding it in the usual mode. Keeping the Polestar in the usual mode the entire time, I possibly contact the brake pedal half a dozen instances over the course of per week of testing. Even throughout a really spirited drive on some canyon roads, the regen is so robust and simple to control that I by no means need to faucet the brakes.

You can add a $5,000 efficiency package deal, however actually, I would not. While I really like the design of the 20-inch wheels and the gold seatbelts, the Polestar 2’s regenerative braking makes the efficiency pack’s upgraded entrance Brembo brakes pointless. And as cool because the manually adjustable Öhlins dampers may appear, they’re annoying to regulate and make the automobile experience worse than with the usual setup. Plus, for those who really need larger wheels, a set of 20-inchers with a candy 4-spoke design is offered for $1,200.

Standard active-safety options embrace Volvo’s Pilot Assist system (adaptive cruise management with steering help), automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic help, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping help, a 360-degree digicam and parking sensors. Every Polestar 2 additionally comes with heated entrance and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, heated windshield wipers, energetic LED headlights, a Harman Kardon sound system, ambient inside lighting and a wi-fi telephone charger.

2021 Polestar 2

The Polestar 2’s inside jogs my memory of high-end furnishings.


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

Let’s speak about vary

The EPA says the Polestar 2 has a variety of 233 miles per cost and whereas I by no means absolutely cost or absolutely deplete the battery pack, the automobile’s estimated vary readout appears correct if not slightly conservative. It solely offers the vary in 5-mile increments, which I feel is ok — I’m by no means going to get shut sufficient to empty for a super-precise readout to actually matter anyway. The Polestar’s vary is far more sufficient for me and it actually is sufficient for almost all of customers, particularly these with brief commutes. But I would not hesitate to take it on a protracted freeway journey that might require charging; Polestar says the 2 can achieve an 80% cost in simply 40 minutes on a 150-kilowatt DC quick charger.

There’s a number of public charging in Los Angeles, however practically each time I charged it was on the similar location near my condo, so I did not need to take care of a number of looking for stations that are not both damaged or occupied. (There was a large puddle of oil on the bottom subsequent to my parking spot the primary time I charged, go determine.) While Polestar has no fast-charging community of its personal like Tesla, you may cost it up at third-party stations like these from Electrify America and EVgo. Polestar additionally lately introduced a partnership with ChargePoint wherein the businesses will launch an in-car app and increase entry to all of ChargePoint’s 130,000 chargers.

2021 Polestar 2

Rejoice! It’s a hatchback!


Daniel Golson/Roadshow

One configuration suits all

The Polestar 2 begins at $61,200 together with vacation spot, however earlier than any incentives. It’s eligible for a federal $7,500 tax credit score, which brings the worth all the way down to $52,400. With $1,200 Snow paint and the $5,000 efficiency pack, my check automobile is $67,400. The solely possibility left on the desk is the $4,000 ventilated leather-based inside that might convey the worth to $71,400. So yeah, the Polestar is sort of dear, even amongst different premium EVs. (Cheaper fashions with fewer customary options will ultimately arrive, although no particulars have been introduced but.)

The best comparability to attract is with the (*2*)Tesla Model 3, because it’s the one different premium electrical sedan in the identical dimension class because the Polestar. The all-wheel-drive Long Range Model 3 begins at $46,690 earlier than any incentives and provides barely faster acceleration and a for much longer vary (353 miles). Then there’s the $54,690 Model 3 Performance, which has a 315-mile vary and can hit 60 mph a full second faster than the Polestar. In phrases of efficiency and worth for cash, the Model 3 lotions the Polestar 2.

I do not need the Tesla, although. The Polestar 2 is extra fulfilling to drive, higher to have a look at and means nicer inside, plus I desire its tech and the hatchback rear finish. And most significantly (not less than to me), the Polestar is simply extra attention-grabbing. Even if Teslas weren’t so frequent the place I dwell, I’d nonetheless wish to be seen within the Polestar. Driving it seems like I’m on the slicing fringe of the business.

The Polestar 2 is at the moment out there to order on-line, with check drives, supply and servicing dealt with by the model’s Spaces showrooms. As of proper now there are just a few, principally in California with one in Denver and one other in New York City. But Polestar guarantees that 15 extra showrooms will open by the top of 2021 in locations like Boston, Seattle, Detroit and Miami. If you are involved in a premium electrical automobile and have a Polestar Space close to you, I extremely advocate checking it out. You would possibly find yourself the best particular person in your neighborhood.

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